On Sunday, it was conveyed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, that the accusations made by Democrats, asserting that Texas had prevented Border Patrol from reaching migrants attempting to cross the U.S. southern border, leading to their drowning in the Rio Grande, are deemed inaccurate.
Allegations were raised by federal officials and U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Texas, contending that the Texas Military Department had hindered Border Patrol’s access to the river, resulting in the deaths of three migrants – a woman and two children – on Friday. Cuellar emphasized in a statement that the state bears responsibility for the tragic incident.
Contrary to these claims, an investigation conducted by the Texas Military Department concluded that the accusations were “wholly inaccurate.” The investigation clarified that the drownings had occurred before Border Patrol requested access to the area.
In a news release, it was stated by the Texas Military Department (TMD) that, “At the time that access was requested by Border Patrol, the drownings had already occurred, and the bodies were being recovered by Mexican Authorities. These facts were communicated by Border Patrol to the on-site TMD personnel.”
Responding to the findings of the investigation, Abbott pointed out that Cuellar and others, who attributed the drownings to Texas, omitted crucial details.
In a message posted on X, formerly Twitter, Abbott stated, “Turns out @RepCuellar (& some media) were so eager to point finger(sic) at Texas for drowning of migrants they forgot to get the facts.
When BP requested access to the river, the drownings had already occurred & found in MX. The fact is the deaths are b/c of Biden’s Open Border magnet.”
In direct communication with Border Patrol on Friday, soldiers from the TMD conveyed that upon learning of distressed migrants, the request for access to Shelby Park was made.
When Border Patrol sought access, soldiers informed them that the bodies of two drowned migrants had already been recovered by Mexican authorities.
The release specified that Border Patrol’s access to the park was specifically sought to secure two additional migrants presumed to have accompanied the deceased individuals but had crossed to the boat ramp.
TMD apprehended two migrants, with one being handed over to the Department of Public Safety, and the other transferred to EMS due to initial hypothermic conditions.
The utilization of lights, night vision goggles, and thermals was maintained by the soldiers to ascertain that no additional migrants were present in the river or experiencing distress, as outlined in the release.
Amidst the accusations directed at the TMD, a cease-and-desist letter was issued by the Department of Homeland Security to Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Sunday. The state was instructed to cease the denial of access to Shelby Park for Border Patrol agents.